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  • Bob Brooks

Handling a Debt Collector on Debt That Isn’t Yours

A few years ago I had Attorney Dean Malone on my show to discuss dealing with debt collector harassment. After finishing up that day, I went home. The minute I walked in, the telephone rang. Believe it or not, it was a debt collector. The debt collector was attempting to collect a debt on my wife that she didn’t even owe. How did we know? The debt was for an electricity company in Kansas City. She has never lived in Kansas City.

Now if that happens to you, there is a tendency to just blow it off. You know the debt is not yours. However, there is an important process you need to go through to make sure that this doesn’t turn into a big problem down the road.

Step 1 Attempt to get all of the information possible about the alleged debt, along with the name and address of the debt collector. In the process, keep your cool and don’t let the debt collector rattle you. When I received the call from the Debt Collector, he still managed to push my buttons and I know better.

Step 2 Check your credit report and make sure that there is no entry. The chances are pretty good that there will not be an entry because more than likely they will not have a social security number.

Step 3 If it is on your credit report, you need to dispute the item with the credit reporting agency, offering as much proof as possible. It is also a good idea to provide your social security number and other identifying information.

Step 4 Send the debt collector a cease and desist letter. This should stop the collection process. Having said that, still keep an eye out for anything that is related to the alleged debt.

Step 5 Monitor your credit reports.

What are the dangers of ignoring a mistaken debt collection?

The debt collector could continue to attempt to collect against you, take you to court, and win a judgment against you. Once a judgment has been secured, it is tough to get it reversed. There are actual court cases cited where this happened.

For more information and a complete guide to dealing with debt collectors, check out my book Deceptive Money at

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